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Migrant Hoverfly Eupeodes corollae

The Migrant Hoverfly often appears in great numbers and is present all over Europe, including all of the British Isles. Has been introduced in South Africa and does wonderfully well there too. It is neither a big nor a small species reaching a length of some 9 mm. The Migrant Hoverfly has two characteristics, which make it stand out in a bunch of similar species: it has hairless eyes and a shining yellow face.

It was bred experimentally, for the larvae are great aphid eaters. It was especially used in the growing of Chrysanthemum and spinach. When the weather is fine this hoverfly may produce some 6 to 7 generations in one season (it is on the wing from June to October or even November). The lifecycle is quick: already two days after being laid, the eggs may hatch. Next the larva will feed on aphids for some 10 days, during which period it may consume up to 800 aphids. After that the larva pupates. The duration of the pupal stage however is very short as well: after only 8 days a newborn adult comes out. And should it be a female, then she is capable of producing some 1,000 eggs in her lifetime!. So this is an ideal species for use in biological agriculture. But once put to the test, the animal failed its final test. The larvae did not only eat the aphids, but the plants and fruits as well!

This species is still often referred to by its previous scientific name: Metasyrphus corollae.